As your child gets older, there may be a need to change your custody arrangements. Children often need more one-on-one time with their parents when they're young but are happier to begin branching out as they age. It's a good idea to review your custody arrangements in Washington D.C. when they appear to no longer suit your situation, so that you can continue to provide the best care possible.
There's no defined rule on how often you should review your custody schedule, but it's a good idea to do so with any major life changes and if your child has shown dissatisfaction with the current schedule.
What are some common custody schedule changes that get made?
As your child gets older and heads to middle and high school, it's normal to need to change your custody schedule. Why? They now go to school at different times and may have more activities to participate in. They may have new friends who live closer to mom or dad and could be interested in different activities on the weekends.
You and your spouse should sit down and discuss where your child can be on which days and set up an arrangement that allows your child do to the activities they would like to try and to see friends as often as your schedule can allow. The schedule can't always reflect everything your child wants, but you may be able to tweak your current arrangement to make it easier for your child to see their friends on the weekend or to make sure they are closer to the school for afterschool practices through the week.
As your child approaches adulthood, they may be more outspoken about the schedule they'd like or prefer to have a more open schedule, where they can head to mom's or dad's house depending on the activities they do that day. Depending on the relationship you have with your ex-spouse and the maturity of your child, this could be something you allow as long as there is good communication.
However, open-ended custody arrangements can sometimes lead to complications, so if you and your ex-spouse believe that it's something you'd like to try for your child's sake, it's worth talking to your attorney about what you can do to make sure your child is safe and checks in regularly with either parent.
Custody schedules will change as your child ages. Make sure you're always considering the right arrangements for their current needs.